skip navigation
Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Dallas: The Complete First... The landmark TV drama continues with a whole new generation, as JRs (Larry... more info $10.95was $29.98 Buy Now

Recount ... Oscar-« winner Kevin Spacey leads an all-star cast in Recount a revealing timely... more info $16.95was $19.98 Buy Now

Kurt Russell: 4-Movie... Includes Strongest Man in the World, the Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Horse in... more info $7.85was $14.99 Buy Now

Grey's Anatomy: The Complete... GREYS ANATOMY revolves around the personal and professional lives of the doctors... more info $21.95was $26.50 Buy Now

In Search Of: The Complete... Leonard Nimoy, hosts and narrates this documentary series that takes you to the... more info $86.21was $114.99 Buy Now

Three O'Clock High ... Buddy, the nastiest guy in class, forces Jerry into a fight at 3 p.m. in the... more info $9.95was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Mitchell Craig Pileggi Died:
Born: April 5, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Portland, Oregon, USA Profession: actor, housing accounting specialist (for defense contractor)

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This tall, athletic and bald character player of film and TV certainly made the most of a guest shot on a first season episode ("Tooms") of the hit Fox paranormal drama "The X-Files." Pileggi (pronounced "puh-ledgy") was invited back for an eight-episode arc at the beginning of the second season--largely coinciding with Gillian Anderson's diminished presence due to her pregnancy. Initially viewed with suspicion by both the show's protagonists and fans, the intense, repressed and seething FBI Assistant Director Skinner eventually won everyone over with his quietly heroic efforts to aid his sometimes renegade agents even at the price of angering his masters and putting his professional and physical life on the line. Skinner has said that he stands on the line that David Duchovny's Agent Fox Mulder routinely crosses. The character became one of the show's tiny group of recurring characters. Pileggi realized well into his characterization that he had been unconsciously modeling Skinner on his own late father, Vito, a defense contractor.The peripatetic nature of his father's profession took the young Pileggi and his family from his native Portland, OR to California to such far-flung locales as Turkey,...

This tall, athletic and bald character player of film and TV certainly made the most of a guest shot on a first season episode ("Tooms") of the hit Fox paranormal drama "The X-Files." Pileggi (pronounced "puh-ledgy") was invited back for an eight-episode arc at the beginning of the second season--largely coinciding with Gillian Anderson's diminished presence due to her pregnancy. Initially viewed with suspicion by both the show's protagonists and fans, the intense, repressed and seething FBI Assistant Director Skinner eventually won everyone over with his quietly heroic efforts to aid his sometimes renegade agents even at the price of angering his masters and putting his professional and physical life on the line. Skinner has said that he stands on the line that David Duchovny's Agent Fox Mulder routinely crosses. The character became one of the show's tiny group of recurring characters. Pileggi realized well into his characterization that he had been unconsciously modeling Skinner on his own late father, Vito, a defense contractor.

The peripatetic nature of his father's profession took the young Pileggi and his family from his native Portland, OR to California to such far-flung locales as Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Iran. He first began acting as a student in an American high school in Turkey, discovering a penchant for musicals. Pileggi fell away from the limelight after high school, taking an undergraduate business degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He worked as a defense contractor himself for several years in Iran before fleeing the revolution. Settling finally in Austin, TX, Pileggi took up performing in community theater and went on to bit parts in TV. Moving to Los Angeles, he won additional TV guest shots and roles in low-budget genre movies--his most notable was as mass murderer Horace Pinker, the lead in Wes Craven's wildly uneven supernatural thriller "Shocker" (1989). His character survives the electric chair transformed into a malevolent energy that kills through TV. Pileggi sank his teeth into the showy part--cast by Craven for his ability to make criminality sexy--but the film's poor critical and commercial reception thwarted the producers' aim to create a new Freddy Krueger. Usually cast as toughs, unsympathetic cops and bad guys, Pileggi had small parts in such films as "Return of the Living Dead Part II" (1988), "Basic Instinct" (1992) and "It's Pat" (1994).

Finally achieving celebrity with his role on "The X-Files," Pileggi has become a sex-symbol of sorts to many of the show's ardent admirers. His relaxed and youthful demeanor during conventions and personal appearances has served to enhance his status as a fan favorite. Accordingly, the shows' producers have slowly been giving Skinner more of a life beyond the walls of his office. Pileggi was promoted to series regular with the 1996-97 season.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Transformers 5 (2017)
2.
 Polaroid (2017)
4.
 Space Twister (2012)
5.
 Recount (2008)
6.
 Flash of Genius (2008)
7.
 Man in the Chair (2007)
8.
 First to Die (2003) Warren Jacobi
9.
 Gun Shy (2000) Dexter Helvenshaw
10.
 X-Files, The (1998) Fbi Assistant Director Walter Skinner
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1984:
Made his TV-movie acting debut in "The Sky's No Limit", a CBS drama about three female astronauts
1985:
Had his first TV guest spot on NBC's "The A-Team"
1996:
Provided narration for the Fox compilation special "More Secrets of the X-Files"
2008:
Reprised his role as Walter Skinner in the X-Files movie "The X-Files: I Want To Believe"
2008:
Nabbed a recurring part on "Supernatural"
2008:
Played Ernest Darby on 14 episodes of "Sons of Anarchy"
1984:
Made his feature acting debut with a small part in "On the Line/Rio Abajo", a Spanish production about the relationship between two U.S. border guards and a Mexican prostitute
1990:
Appeared in three episodes of the hit CBS primetime soap "Dallas"
1989:
Had his first feature lead role playing mass murderer Horace Pinker in Wes Craven's thriller "Shocker"
1994:
Joined the cast of Fox's hit paranormal drama "The X-Files" in the recurring role of Assistant Director Walter Skinner
2003:
Landed a recurring role on the TV series "Tarzan"
2016:
Played Walter Skinner once again in the 2016 TV reboot of "The X-Files"
2017:
Appeared in "Transformers: The Last Knight"
2018:
Reprised Skinner role yet again for the eleventh season of "The X-Files"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Fullerton College: Fullerton, California -
University of Texas at Austin: Austin, Texas -

Notes

"'Though he plays a stern disciplinarian', says the show's executive producer, Chris Carter, 'Mitch has a certain gentleness viewers really took to.'"

"Gentleness isn't the only thing they took to. 'A lot of women want to kiss my head,' he says doffing his cap. Ironically, Pileggi's baldness nearly kept him from getting the role. 'He looked a little extreme,' says Carter, recalling the actor's first two auditions. By his third try, Pileggi had stopped shaving his head and grown out what hair he does have. 'I went in with this surly attitude', he says. 'Maybe they were just trying to piss me off so I'd be that way.'"

"Those who should know say this crossness is pure acting. 'Mitch is a tough, honest, standup guy," says [Gillian] Anderson, 'but he can get really goofy.' Adds Duchovny: 'He's been known to suddenly break into show tunes.'" --From "To the Top: Senior G-Man" in People, May 6, 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Debbie Andrews. "Army brat"; met when Pileggi was a student in California; married 1978; divorced in 1983.
wife:
Arlene Warren. Actor. Met on set of "The X-Files"; Warren is the stand-in for series star Gillian Anderson; born c. 1966.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Vito Pileggi. Operations manager. Worked for a defense contractor to US Department of Defense; provided Pileggi's inspiration for his characterization of the FBI's Assistant Director Skinner on "The X-Files".
mother:
Maxine Pileggi. Homemaker.
brother:
Nick Pileggi. Not the author-journalist-screenwriter.
daughter:
Sawyer Pileggi. Born on May 24, 1998.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute